Selections from the Diary and Meditations of Mrs. John Walrond (c. 1699-1739)

The remains of the diary of Mrs. John Walrond can be found in STE 10/1, Steele Collection, Angus Library, Regent's Park College, Oxford. They were copied by an unidentified individual into the same volume containing selections from the writings of Hannah Towgood Wakeford. For a biographical account of Mrs. Walrond, click here. For a more complete account of her life and a fully annotated text of the complete remains of her diary, see Timothy Whelan, Nonconformist Women Writers, 1720-1840 (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2011), pp. 1-14; selections below taken from pp. 3-4, 6-9, 12-13.

Some of Madam Walronds privet Papers Transcribed

March 15th 1699

I find still in me an inability to any good A Propension to & some times a desire after wt is evil. In my understanding there is yet much vanity inconsiderateness, rashness & darkness. My concience is in some measure senseless, or at least not enough affected wth the evil of Sin not even accusing me for my falls into sin, not rebuking me so sharply as it ought to do, nor always excusing me in my repentance. I am too often deaf to holy motions and suggestions, my heart & affections are full of unspeakable deceits. Evil thots folly & madness so far as I prefer Perishing contentments before Eternal contentments, not wrought upon as I ought by the most lively means of grace, by hopes & fears threatnings & promises, mercies or Judgments, quickly loosing that impression they have at anytime made upon me, reflecting from a good frame my affections sometimes set on wrong objects, often innordinate & excessive when set on right ones – My will has not yet regaind its Spiritual freedom, but has still in it much enmity & obstinacy against that which is good, & too free to evil.

My memory is forgetfull of God & that is is good but too tenacious of evil matters. I dont call truths seasonable to mind as I ought to quicken me when dull or to comfort me when sad. I find my outward man likewise depraved, my Eyes prone to Adultry Envy Pride & Scorn. My Ears too deaf [to] good suggestions too attentive to vanity Lyes & Slanders. – My Tongue unruly, unsavory unedifying in discourse, to all I may add that tho I am the worst yet I have but slite thots of my original corruption that is indeed so bominable – Seldome confessing & bewailing as I ought.

March ye 20, 1706

Being a day of Publick fast I found time to examin the state of my Soul by a Preperation Sermon of Mr W—ds [Walronds] on 2. Cor. 13:5 Examin your selves whether ye be in the faith – & the great question, was am I a true Christian or no, a servant of God, or a slave to sin Satan & the world. 1st I enquired what I have made my end, & chosen for my Portion and upon ye strickest search I cou’d make I do verily hope I am in at Gods Glory & have sincerely chosen God for my Portion & heritage and not any Creature Comfort – 2d I enquired upon what I left my affections, & do belive I can sincery [sic] say that Jesus Christ my Saviour & Redeemer is most amiable and Precious in my sight that I have chosen him for my Lord & Soverign that the Love of God ye Image & the enjoyment of God is my sincere desire & delight. 3d I enquired what Life & Power of Grace I coud descern. I hope I find yt I have the faith of God because I am enabled to belive in God to trust his Promises embrace his offers of mercy & build all the Hope of my Salvation on Jesus Christ I do consent to the terms of the Gospel to recive him as my Prophet Priest & King to instruct govern & save me. And upon a persuasion of the mercy of God in Christ I do I hope unfeignedly repent of all my sins renouncing all – so well as some I abhor & am with my whole heart as it is an offence and dishonourable to God. Tis my dayly Burden it makes me cry out oh wretched creature that I am And I fly to Christ for peace & rest. I hope I have also an unfained love to God & Christ in that I do love his name His people His Laws His ordinances and his Presence above all other things. Then through out my whole conversation I do endeavour to keep a conscience void of offence towards God & man taking the word of God only for my rule & all tho I have been drawn aside and too much influenced by my own Lusts and the Custome & Example of the world I don’t allow my Self so to do but have yeilded [sic] myself up to the conduct of the word & spirit of God & I trust sincerely devoted myself to Righteousness and true holyness Blessed be God that hath begun his work of Grace in my Soul and made me hope he will perfect it and befit me for his Kingdom and Glory.

Feb ye 6 1706 [07]

I have been for some time reading Mr Baxters Saints Rest[vi] & seriously considering again & again the description he gives of the people of God, that have an undoubted right & title to that rest and company the strictest serch I can make I do find my Good & Gracious God has so far wrought a saving Change (I trust on my understanding will & affections) hath such an Influence on my heart and life as enables me to Hope & conclude I am one of His own People & have a right and title to this rest because I place my chiefest happyness in it, viz. in God and the full enjoyment of God in Christ in Glory forever I do seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness[vii] tho I dont seek it so earnestly so zealously as I ought yet nothing is prefer’d before it my heart is thus far set upon it that it is the very end of hearing Prayers Receiving &c & the very End why I desire to live & breathe any longer on Earth, chiefly that I may seek the Lord and make sure of this rest, nor do I think any labour or suffering too great to obtain it and tho my flesh do & may some times draw back, I am resolved and content to go through all and I do esteem & value it at so high a rate that I wouldnt exchange my title to it and hopes of it for any worldly good whatsoever & when ever these my evidences appear most clearly I can & do desire to depart that I may be with Christ which is Best of all 2ly I do heartily & sincerely take Jesus Christ to be my only Saviour Redeemer and Lord to bring me to this rest, the former he tells me is the sum of the first & great command of the Law of nature, to Love the Lord with all my heart or above all and this is the Sum of ye command or condition of the Gospel saith belive in the Lord Jesus & thou shalt be saved, I do find and am sensible that I am naturely a lost condemned creature, by Breach of the first Covenant & that I am no way able to help my self or get out of this miserable condition & I do belive that Jesus Christ is the mediator appointed by God, who hath made a sufficient satisfaction to the Law, and hearing he is in the Gospel offerd to all, I most heartly consent that he alone shall be my Saviour & trust on him as such and do no further trust my duties & words than as conditions required & means appointed by him In order to salvation. I am content & desirous also to take him for my only Lord and King to Govern & Guide me by his Laws & Spirit and tho ye world do sometimes intice & over reach me yet it is my ordinary desire & resolution to obey him even in those things that most cross and are hardest to ye flesh in so much that tis my sorrow when I break my resolutions & my Joy when I keep closest in obedience to him nor woud I change my Lord & Master for ye world: and this He assures me is true Justifying faith and this according to his advice I have recorded and wrote down that in case of future Temptations doubts & fears I might have recourse to the Evidence God has now given me of his work of Grace on my Soul and consequently my title to the rest that remaineth for ye People of God. Which may be of great use to me, as it is now a comfort and encouragemt to me to approach him at his table among his People whom he now calls to feast with him there. And blessed be the Lord he did own me for his he did then & there bestow some degrees of his holy Spirit on me, drawing my Soul heavenward enlarging my desires raising my affections & quickning my endevours after heavenly things confirming my resolutions of new and better obedience Oh that I may perform them.

Feb 2 1733 [34]

I Bless God my Heart answers as fully now as it did when this was recorded.


May ye 6 1707

I have been once again examining and trying the state of my Soul by Mr Joseph Alleins Book treats of the nature of conversion[viii] being desirous to find out the Truth of my case & unwilling to be deceived in so great & weighty a Point, & upon the strictest inquiry I have been able to make I do verily hope God has made a saveing renewing change on my Soul for as I was naturaly blind & ignorant I do find my understanding enlightned so that I do in my mind and Judgment prefer [sic] ye favour & enjoyment of God before all the world and say whom have I in heaven but thee and there is none upon Earth as I have chosen God for my Portion, so I have freely & deliberately chosen Christ as the way and hollyness as the means to bring me to him. I have chosen the way of thy Precips O Lord as my Heritage for ever And then as to my affections Christ is my hope, my desire is not after God but Grace that my coruptions may be subdued & my soul renewed & sanctified my delight is in the Law of the Lord[ix] I know no greater Pleasure or Joy then in Communion & fellowship with the Father Son & Holy Spirit in His ordinances. My care is to please God, tho I confess the world & Bassness & Dutys in it do too much fill my mind. My Fear is of offending God losing his favour which is better then Life to my Soul, and I have often felt the sense of Gods Love in giving me Christ and with him all things richly to enjoy and Christ Love in giving himself to the death for us so affecting to my Soul, that my heart has been as it were inflamed with Love to him again which has made sin most hateful to me. I loath my self for it and I hope I sorrow after a godly sort[x] & walk & strive against it with every Power & facul[t]y both of Soul & Body & Employing ’em all in Gods Service labouring & endevering that alltho Sin may & do dwell in me yet it may not have dominion over me. I hope I have a conscientious respect to all Gods commands making conscience of the least Sin or duty willing in all things to live honestly & innocently towards God & man and grieving when I fail in either. I trust that by the marks he gave I am turned from sin in heart and resolution, tho too much remaineth in me from the Power of Satan unto God from the world as my Idol that it has not now my esteem & confidence. God is in the throne Christ in my heart, and the world in some measure crucified and brought under tho not so fully as I wish her to [be] Spiritual and heavenly. And lastly from my own Righteousness which appears to me as filthy rags, I condemn my self as poor & miserable blind naked & wretched. Utterly lost and undone in myself, which makes me fly to God in Christ as my Rock of refuge.[xi] My Expectation is from him. I have chosen God for my Portion and happiness and here I will Live & dye let all the world go where it will & when I have seen my need of Christ I have most thankfully accepted and layd hold on him as my only Saviour & Redeemer my Prophet Priest & King I have chosen the Holy Spirit to be my Guide & Comforter & the Command of Christ to be the Rule of my Life & conversation beliving them to be Holy Just and Good desiring to know ye very extent of them. That which I see not teach thou me Resolving through thy Grace to yield an unfeigned obedience to them Persevering therein unto the End. And he tells me since I have experienced all this I ought to Bless God who hath been at work with me & layd hold on my heart by the Power of Converting Grace or I coud never have done this. I may rest assured I am his in an everlasting covenant orderd in all things and sure, & shall dwell forever with him since he hath thus seald me up to ye day of Redemption.

March 28 1723

Blessed be God my heart answers that it is thus wth me now.


March ye 17, 1711/12

I have not for some time recorded any of my evidences for a title to the Heavenly Kingdom and so have lost the comfort of many such, but being sensible of my folly herein, I will now return to the comfortable and conforming Practice begun by my dear Sister Dukes[xvi] example who was eminent in Piety and in which I have found great quickening and comfort.

I have now been examining my heart by a sermon of Mr [following page has been torn from the book] my Saviour so I do commit my self to his care and rest upon his merits and mediation for deliverance from sin and death. 3 But how are the Elect said to be given to Christ (Ans) They are commited to his care and He undertakes for them to instruct them in the way they shoud chuse to guide them by his councells in the Path that leads to Life and Glory, & to supply them with that Grace which doth accompany Salvation. They are given Him as the fruit of his Purchase and the reward of his sufferings and (4) it appears that he doth take them for His charge having pacified the wrath of God for them reconciled them to his Justice and clothes them with his own Righteousness and then who shall Lay any thing to the charge of Gods Ellect it is God that Justifieth because Christ hath dyed.[xvii]

2d He sanctifieth them by his spirit enlightens their mind guides their consciences subdues their wills and changes their hearts.

3 He defends them against all the enemies of their Christian warfare will deliver them from the Power of Sin and Satan here be their advocate to Plead their cause and bring them safe to those mansions of Glory in His Fathers House which He hath promised and is gone to Prepare for them.[xviii] Oh that this might more throughly convince me of the wonderfull Love of Christ to the Ellect and of the Happy State of those Souls who are conveyd by God into his Hand & thereby secured [from] all the enemies of their Salvation and Oh let the Hope I have of being one of that Blessed number raise my Esteem and admiration of Him and engage me in many Purposes and designs for his Honour and intrest in the World enflame my heart with Love to him, let me aspire after Him in my desires and encompass him with continual Praises. I have given up my self into his hand, devoting my self to his intrest & service, and may I not then hope I was first given by God to him, & say Lord I am thine save me, I commit my self to his charge & care, and resolve (his grace assisting) I will rely on his wisdom, Power, goodness and faithfulness on his merits and intercession I will adventure my all with him into thy hand Lord I commit my Spirit.

March 21 1739

I examined my self by the above Particulars and found to my great comfort my heart answered roundly as it did 20 years before and seems confirmd.

Text: STE 10/1; these selections were copied by an unidentified individual into the same volume containing selections from the writings of Hannah Towgood Wakeford.